Any organization, public or private, that pays or insures health care expenses for beneficiaries at the time at which they are patients.
Refers to situations where the first party (patient) does not pay directly for the activities of the second party (provider), but where this is done through a private insurer, sickness fund or government agency (third party payer).
World Health Organization. European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Glossary. 2009.